While most are aware of Singapore’s Chinese heritage, try discovering her indigenous Malay history at the Malay Heritage Centre. The unique culture of the Peranakans are best seen at the Peranakan Museum, and for a more personal touch, visit the Peranakan home museums of The In-Tan or Katong Antique House. Singapore’s Indian heritage can also be seen and learned about in the new Indian Heritage Centre, while those desiring a wider Asian perspective can head to the Asian Civilisations Museum.
Modern and Contemporary
Singapore is modern as it is traditional, and modern art lovers will appreciate the Singapore Art Museum, which showcases international contemporary art exhibits, specialising in Singapore and Southeast Asia. A wider range of art exhibits can be found at the new Singapore Pinacothèque de Paris, the local offshoot of renowned art museum in Paris. Famed for their private art collections, more than 40 rare masterpieces will be permanently showcased in Singapore and the Singapore Pinacotheque will feature interactive displays as well as an art academy. The impressive ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands celebrates creativity in the fields of not only art and science but also design, media, architecture and technology, and has played host to exhibitions in the past that included works associated with Andy Warhol, Leonardo da Vinci and the Titanic.
Naval History, Collectors and Dinosaurs
If a history of the seas amazes you, visit the Maritime Experiential Museum on Sentosa and learn about Asia’s maritime history including Singapore’s past as a trading port. The Maritime Silk Route, linking the Arabian Peninsula to Southeast Asia, is showcased through bazaars and their wares, but don’t miss the Arab dhow vessel The Jewel of Muscat exhibit, a gift from Oman to Singapore which sailed the actual route in 2010 using traditional navigation. Even more amazing is that the dhow was constructed as how they were in the 9th century without nails or screws, but planks held together by coconut husk fibres.For a different step back in time, view stamps and other philatelic material of Singapore from the 1830s to today including member countries of the Universal Postal Union at the Singapore Philatelic Museum; and for the child in all of us, MINT (Moment of Imagination and Nostalgia with Toys) Museum of Toys presents an extensive collection of vintage toys. All belonging to Singaporean Mr Chang Yang Fa, there are around 50,000 pieces from more than 40 countries, with a time span from mid-19th to mid-20th century.
From man-made to the real deal – Singapore is now home to three authentic life-sized dinosaur fossils from the sauropod family, which were among the largest dinosaurs ever to roam the earth. They can be found at the revamped Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, whose main gallery traces the history of life on earth, with a heritage zone that features Singapore’s natural history, and includes biological exhibits accumulated by local curators over 137 years.